Written by by Anne Clayton, CNN
The Walt Disney World Resort in Florida is the second major cruise line to start requiring members of the majority of age groups, including children under 5 years old, to be fully vaccinated in order to travel.
The other, and more well-known, company, Royal Caribbean, announced the same change in July. The rule is also a part of the Cruise Lines International Association’s (CLIA) Uniform Standards of Medical Care (USMC) requirements.
Disney Cruise Line
Disney’s new policy will only apply to its Epcot, Hollywood Studios and Disney’s Animal Kingdom Islands of Adventure and will include those on select shore excursions. Travelers will receive a “guaranteed choice letter” letting them know their vaccination status.
It will mean travelers will not be permitted entry to the three theme parks (Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, Epcot) unless they are vaccinated.
“Prior to embarkation, passengers are eligible for free pre-boarding vaccinations via an online enrollment request,” reads Disney’s update. “The specially marked ‘provisional’ government issued ID badge will then accompany each passenger upon entry to the resort, allowing Disney Cruise Line staff and guests to meet and greet guests upon arrival on board ships.”
Disney’s also announcing changes to its popular Disney Cruise Line vacations in the coming months. Among these, are a new “lunch and brunch-style dining” theme, which is expected to be ready by 2020, and a much-needed upgrade to the onboard business center (where passengers previously had to spend 35-minutes queuing).
Disney will also be calling time on its most children-inclusive vacation spot, the Disney Magic, to make way for its newer, upgraded ships.
They’re called the Disney Dream and the Disney Fantasy, respectively, and both feature larger guest decks, new cuisine options and new, underwater video installations.
Both ships also feature floating parks (Disney Dream on Fantasy); an enhanced high-speed transit system (Rapids & Storms); a first-of-its-kind master bathroom (canopies over the sinks), plus additional entertainment amenities (the ship boasts a New Orleans street party street band, Walt Disney’s Love Boat and an ice rink).
A handful of ships are still slated to be revamped but, for now, it appears that Disney Dream and Fantasy will have all the capacity they need to accommodate passengers.